At the end of May I cut out three new projects ready to sew, which is unusual for me because I normally limit myself to one thing at a time. I completed the first one here but life gets busy. OFSTED turned up at work, and some of you will have an understanding of what this means for any free time that you might have planned.
Anyway, I have been looking at blouses with gathered cuffs for some time and wanted to make one for myself. I had a vintage pattern with just the sleeve I was looking for and the fabric to make it in my stash. I just needed to bring them both together. I loved this fabric as soon as I saw it. It is covered in passion flowers and lilies. I bought 2 one-yard pieces from the remnant stall on Leicester market.
I haven't been disappointed. The blouse is so pretty and makes me feel very feminine. The sleeves are comfortable to wear. They are short enough for the ruffles not to get in the way when you have a busy lifestyle.
I used a vintage pattern that I have made before here and this time I chose view D.
I didn't have enough fabric for the ruffles round the neck and down the front but I also thought these would be impractical for everyday.
The fabric was very challenging. It is slippery, springy and frays like mad. I sewed everything together as far as making the ruffles quite quickly. I used french seams throughout which has made the inside very neat and dealt with the fraying issues. I found that everything needed to be tacked first. Pins just didn't keep the layers together in the right place.
|A french seam and the last few tacking stitches still in place|
The sleeve ruffles are circular and lined. I took a long time over these because I needed to stop and think at every stage. All of the seams wanted to spring flat and didn't hold a crease well.
|Edge stitching around the ruffle edge|
After sewing the top layer to the lining I added an extra row of stitching near to the edge to keep the facing in place just like I had around the neck, and this really helped. I then pinned and tacked the two layers together about half way up and close to the sleeve seam before slashing the seam allowance and stitching the facing in place by hand. All this extra care has paid off because the ruffles do hang really nicely.
|The underside of the ruffle showing facing|
I have made this pattern before so I didn't think I needed a toille. I was wrong. If you look closely at the photos you will see that the bust darts are about 2 inches too high. I don't remember altering the darts on the blouse last time and they are a much better fit. I'm not sure that I can do anything about this now, but because I put so much work into the ruffles and I like the fabric so much that I am going to wear my blouse. My none sewing friends don't seem to notice.
You can see how the blouse pulls across the front on this photo.
Most of the time it looks fine...
The back fastening lies flat when I put my arm back down again.
We have passion flowers growing just outside our bedroom window at the moment spilling over the fence from next door. They really are amazing